Our Monthly Journal

January 2021

We're so excited to introduce you to our new monthly journal written by the lovely Lola Jones, also known as @pocketfullofbuttercups on Instagram. Lola is a wonderful photographer and all round creator of beautiful content, raising her twin daughters Maya and Chloe from her house near the Peak District. Each month she will give us a small glimpse into her world, inspiring you with activity ideas, recipes and more.

January is a month for reflection and making plans for the new year ahead, an opportunity to leave all the bad and heavy behind and focus on the good. Of course, this is not how everyone feels, especially after 2020 and the way 2021 has started, but we believe, it is important to always hope for better things ahead and give the new year a chance.I like to start my year with a good clean and de-clutter at home and this year is no exception. Come 1st of January, I look at our wardrobes, things we have not worn/used/grown out of. I go through children’s books and put away anything festive, toys they no longer play with, the arts and crafts cabinet gets a thorough sort through. Any unwanted gifts that we may have received over Christmas and anything we don’t need, either gets sold or is taken to the local charity shop.With festive lights and decorations back in storage, and still plenty of short moody grey days outside, many of us may start to feel those winter blues taking over. We find that being busy is a good way to keep winter blues at bay. Try taking-up a new hobby, cooking healthy meals from scratch, doing regular physical exercise, having a good clear-out at home, starting a journal, doing a DIY project, going out for daily walks or planning something you can look forward to later in the year.Here’s to a fresh start and a healthy and happy 2021! We have gathered a few seasonal ideas that may give you a little inspiration to get creative at home and outside. We hope you enjoy them.

WINTER SCAVENGER HUNT

Challenge yourself and your children to get outside and explore. There is plenty to find in your local park, even on a cold winter’s day, when everything outside seems quiet and sleepy. This activity can teach little ones, bigger kids and even adults to find beauty in simple things and appreciate changes in every season. You can add some facts to go along with it to encourage interesting conversations. For example: Did you know that snowdrops are one of the few flowers that only come in one colour - white. And if you are a competitive type, turn the scavenger hunt into a competition and see who can tick the most boxes. View and print the page below with some ideas for your scavenger hunt.

WARM SPICED APPLE JUICE

Warm spiced apple juice is a perfect cozy treat to make during cold winter months. So simple, with just a handful of ingredients. Drink it at home or bring it along in a flask on your winter scavenger hunt.

For 4 mugs you will need:
- 1ltr good quality apple juice
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5-6 whole cloves
- 1 orange sliced
- 1 apple sliced

Method: Pour the apple juice into a pan, add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, sliced fruit (reserve a few slices for garnish) and simmer on medium/high heat for about 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture into 4 cups, discarding the spice and fruit. Garnish with fresh apple and orange slices and add a cinnamon stick if you like. Enjoy! For an adult version of this, swap the juice with cider and/or add a splash of Calvados at the end for extra warmth.

BIRD FEEDER

A simple and inexpensive craft that little ones are sure to enjoy. It will help children develop empathy and appreciation for nature, not to mention that these feeders are also very beneficial to birds in colder months.

You will need:
- large pine cone
- piece of wire or string
- peanut butter
- bird seed mix (can be found in a supermarket)

Wash and clean the pine cones from any needles, dirt or insects that may be living inside. Leave to air-dry. You can speed-up the process by drying them in the oven if you like (on a low heat). Once clean, dry and all the scales are open, wrap a wire or a garden string around the pine cone. Spread the peanut butter on the pine cone, try to get some under the scales as well. Sprinkle the seeds on top or just roll the pinecone in the mix. All done! You can now hang it in your garden and observe from the window what type of birds it will attract or take it with you on one of your winter walks and hang on a tree for wild birds to enjoy.

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